Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Imagine that you've gone through undergraduate and earned a degree. Then you've gone through legal training, and been admitted to the bar. You've done your scut work, gotten promoted to the point where you get to be in charge of cases for one of the largest builders in the country. In fact, some newspapers have said you are one of the top lawyers in the country.
And in walks someone with no training. Little formal education past secondary school. And they proceed to kick your ass.
It happens. And most recently, it happened in Royal High Courts Of Justice in London.
Just to make it worse, from the lawyer's perspective, the lawyer in question got beat by a beautician.
Georgina Blackwell's mother lives in a house in Essex. However, it stood in the way of a developer's project. Before Ms. Blackwell's mother could get a lawyer she could afford, the developer had her in court and got an order allowing them to demolish a good portion of her house for their project.
Not willing to let this happen, Ms. Blackwell tried to get a lawyer for her mother. However, they could not afford one. So Ms. Blackwell, who apparently had foregone a law career before to help support her mother, decided to take on the case herself. She drafted the case, argued it before the High Court, and won. The developer had to pay for the property (to the tune of £ 75,000) and had to give up the costs that they had won in the initial round of litigation (about £ 20,000), and pay Ms. Blackwell's legal costs.
As a result of the publicity, she has been offered a place at one of the Inns (the British version of law school). Her response: she's interested but "the idea of giving up work again and becoming a student is a bit scary, plus I’ll miss my old job and my lovely clients."